Sunday, 25 July 2021

Croatian Company Podravka Achieves 197 Million Kuna Net Profit

July the 24th, 2021 - The Croatian company Podravka has managed to achieve 197 million kuna in net profit, despite all of the issues caused by the ongoing pandemic.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the net profit of the Croatian company Podravka in the first half of this year reached an impressive 197.6 million kuna, which is 22.3 percent more than in the same period last year, the company announced on Thursday.

At today's meeting, the Supervisory Board of Podravka confirmed the unaudited results of the Podravka Group's operations for the first half of the year, expressing "satisfaction and support for all efforts made to continue the company's continued profitability growth in these still difficult business conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic,'' in a statement.

In the first half of the year, the Nutrition segment generated a net profit of 136.3 million kuna, which is 13.9 percent more than the year before, while the Pharmaceuticals segment generated a net profit of 61.3 million kuna, or 46.3 percent more, which doesn't come as a shock considering the global public health crisis we're still embedded in.

The Croatian company Podravka's sales revenue in the first half of the year amounted to 2.2 billion kuna and was one percent lower when compared to the comparable period of 2020.

The expected decline in sales revenue compared to 2020 is actually the result of unusually large orders and the creation of additional stocks with customers in March last year caused by the introduction of lockdown in most countries where the Podravka Group operates, the statement said.

It is also stated that when, for example, the total sales revenues from the first half of this year are compared with the comparable period of pre-pandemic 2019, then revenues are actually 4 percent higher, which shows positive trends for the company's business operations.

Within the Nutrition segment, the largest increase in sales revenue in the first half of the year was achieved in the Culinary business programme in the amount of 2.5 percent.

The Croatian company Podravka points out that the business programme(s) Baby Food, Sweets and Snacks also recorded an increase in sales revenue in the amount of 1.7 percent, while the growth in sales revenue was also recorded in the Podravka food segment, in the amount of 2.4 percent.

In the Pharmaceuticals segment, the largest growth was recorded in the Prescription Drugs category, whose sales revenues increased by 4.3 percent when compared to the first half of 2020.

When observing sales revenues by region, within the Food segment from Podravka, point out the growth of sales revenues in the markets of Western Europe and overseas in the amount of 8.2 percent when compared to the comparable period last year.

In these markets, sales growth was achieved in almost all business programmes, of which the largest absolute growth was generated by the business programmes Culinary, Baby food, sweets and snacks and Podravka food.

The Pharmaceuticals segment achieved the largest relative growth in sales revenue of 13.9 percent within the Central Europe region, due to higher sales in the Prescription Drugs category, the statement said.

For more, follow our business section.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Croatian Company Asura Contracts Valuable Job for Skopje Mall

July the 23rd, 2021 - The Croatian company Asura has contracted a very valuable job in the Macedonian city of Skopje, more precisely in the country's largest shopping centre which promises to be a hit - East Gate Mall.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, Asura Facility Management Skopje, a member of the Croatian Asura Group, signed an agreement recently in the city of Skopje on the management services of the East Gate Mall, which is the largest shopping centre, as they point out, not only in North Macedonia, but also among the largest in Southeastern Europe.

Through a multi-year Business Cooperation Agreement, signed by East Gate Mall CEO Igor Davkov and Asura Macedonia CEO Stefan Handjiski, the Croatian company Asura will provide all of the needed integrated facility maintenance services.

The service includes technical services (the planning, care and maintenance of all technical systems) and infrastructure facility management (cleaning, environmental maintenance and physical and technical protection).

This cooperation will result in the creation of more than 160 new jobs in the field of technical correctness, cleanliness and physical protection of the facility, it was pointed out during the signing of the contract.

The shopping centre otherwise has 57 thousand square metres of space for shopping, and at the same location investors are developing a business park within which there will be 50,000 m2 of office space, as well as a residential part with a gross area covering ​​more than 200,000 m2 with 1,600 apartments.

The project will be surrounded by 25 thousand square metres of green space and will be open to visitors in mid-October 2021. Andrej Mandic, President of the Management Board of Asura Group, pointed out that the signed contract is the result of strong synergy work of their team despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

For more, follow our dedicated business section.

Friday, 23 July 2021

Zagreb Company Pri Suncu Delights Lovers of Traditional Ice Cream

July the 23rd, 2021 - The Zagreb company Pri Suncu is definitely a hit among all those engaged in a constant and often losing battle with a sweet tooth. This father and daughter team are all about Italian ice cream, sorbet and more.

As Ivan Tominac/Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Nina and Mario Saric are a father and daughter team whose family business, the Zagreb company Pri Suncu, has firmly won over all the palates of Croatian confectionery lovers, and the focus of their business story is the production of original Italian ice cream. It all started while Nina was still in her teens.

She learned about the traditional way of preparing and producing the globally adored Italian type of ice cream, and her urge was so strong that after finishing her food technology studies, she decided to start a business with her father, and that's how the Zagreb company Pri Suncu came to be.

“About three years ago, when we started intensively preparing to start a business, a common realisation grew in us that told us that what we want to do is be authentic and ultimately produce and offer people a product about which they'll say: That’s it! Establishing a new philosophy and raising people's awareness of ''real'' original Italian ice cream, even if they call it ''craft ice cream'' is our business mission,'' said Nina's father and one of the co-founders of the Zagreb company Pri Suncu, Mario Saric

Passion and motivation were the key ingredients, and in order to bridge the whole path between which leads to success, they invested around one million kuna. In addition to their own funds, the CES self-employment support and a micro investment loan from HAMAG BICRO helped them greatly in getting their business up on its feet.

That amount helped them enter the market with even more confidence, and with a well-researched market today, they're ready to say what their main advantage is.

"The production and sale of ice cream is growing from year to year, but the vast majority of ice cream produced is industrial, which can't be produced with the technology and ingredients that produce good craft ice cream. We opted for the manual production of ice cream, during which we make the ice cream base ourselves, and then add other ingredients to it, depending on the flavours of the ice cream. As such, our ice cream has a much stronger flavour intensity and a creamier texture which also gives a lighter feeling after consumption. All of our milk flavours (except tiramisu) are gluten-free and egg-free, while all of our fruit sorbets are intended for a vegan diet, because they're produced on the basis of water,'' added Nina.

The inscriptions ''craft'', ''artisan'' or ''gelato artigianale'' on industrially produced ice cream mean nothing but are merely an enticing PR message to insufficiently educated customers. According to the pair, real ice cream is a miniature niche and as such represents an opportunity, but also a risk that has a focus placed on looking for professional staff.

''Here on the Croatian labour market, at least when it comes to ice cream, confectioners trained to prepare ice cream in the classic industrial way predominate, which is an important problem when it comes to employment in production. In addition, the sale of ice cream in Croatia has a strong seasonal impact, so for a small company like ours it doesn't matter whether we produce it in the winter or summer.

Finally, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has brought additional uncertainty and oscillations to the market, making it difficult to plan for production volumes. For these reasons, we've decided to employ people in production according to our current needs, mostly for a certain period of time, until the market conditions allow us a different approach to this key premise for the development of any business,'' explained owners of the Zagreb company Pri Suncu.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 22 July 2021

Croatian Company Owners Seek Compensation from Civil Protection Directorate

July the 22nd, 2021 - Five Croatian company owners are seeking not only answers but compensation for their extreme losses incurred owing to lockdowns and limitations from the Croatian Civil Protection Directorate.

As Novac/Gordana Grgas writes, five Croatian company owners are refusing to let this issue drop as their very existence was threatened during the pandemic. As such, they have filed a lawsuit against the state seeking compensation for what they claim are discriminatory decisions by the Civil Protection Directorate and inadequate economic measures introduced by the government, funded and logistically supported by the Voice of Entrepreneurs Association (UGP).

The amount they're asking for in court hasn't yet been publicly stated, and they say that it was calculated in relation to the turnover and profit that each of the companies had back during pre-pandemic 2019. The Croatian companies in question are "Djurina hiza" from Varazdin, Caffe & Wine Bar from Rijeka, the travel agencies "Svi koncerti/All concerts" from Varazdin, "Locuples" from the vicinity of Split and the Shark Attack trade from Primosten.

The first step in the lawsuit against the state for damages is a request from the Croatian company owners to attempt to come to a peaceful solution, which was sent to the Zagreb County State's Attorney's Office, it was said yesterday at a press conference organised by the UGP. As explained by the Matic and partners law firm who decided to take these cases, this means that within the legal deadline of three months "the state has a good chance to find modalities and an adequate solution." In other words, they believe that lawsuits shouldn't be filed with the competent courts if the state decides to settle in another manner.

Although the Constitutional Court has so far confirmed in its opinions that the measures adopted due to the pandemic were in accordance with the Constitution, lawyer Mato Matic believes that the Civil Protection Directorate directly violated the constitutional rights of Croatian company owners and states that there are serious violations of three articles of the Constitution (49, 50 and 54).

''Who exactly are those behind the Civil Protection Directorate? On what basis did they make thirteen decisions? On the basis of nothing,'' stated Matic, explaining that the state should have announced the introduction of a state of emergency so that the aforementioned group could make decisions, and noted that President Zoran Milanovic once spoke about it. Thus, Matic believes, there was no legal basis for these decisions to have been made, and no research has ever been conducted to suggest otherwise.

What the aforementioned law firm considers to be important is that judgments have been passed in several EU countries in support of such arguments, stating that the Spanish Constitutional Court declared the spring 2020 lockdown illegal, and the Belgian courts in Brussels declared the ban on the work of caterers and those in the hospitality industry to be illegal. They also cite the decision of the General Court of the European Union, which, as they say, interprets that everything that is prohibited or restricted for Croatian company owners by the decisions of the Government and the Civil Protection Directorate should be compensated in some way.

Hrvoje Bujas, the president of UGP, says that the lawsuits of the group's members are far from a bluff and says that the "gentlemen in the government" should take them very seriously. He emphasises that these are companies that were doing very well until the outbreak of the pandemic, and "became ruins" through absolutely no fault of their own.

For more, follow our dedicated business section.

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Croatian Startup Airt Presents Innovative New Learning Algorithm

July the 18th, 2021 - Innovative and unique Croatian startups keep on popping up all over the place, and the Croatian startup airt is just another in a line of impressive companies. This startup has presented a brand new learning algorithm.

As Novac/Ljubica Vuko writes, the Croatian startup airt, founded by Hajdi Cenan and Davor Runje, presented a new algorithm for learning and predicting behaviour from structured data, which is most often used in the business world, and applied for a patent for its global protection.

As they explained, the Croatian startip airt is building a platform for creating predictive models based on structured data such as, for example, that held by banks or communication service providers, and to process this data internally developed their own deep learning techniques inspired by methodologies used in language processing (NLP/Natural Language Processing).

They used their prior experience they had of working on specific problems from the financial sector to build a fully automated platform for the preparation of the transaction of the data and an automated model building for specific business problems.

In order to compare the quality of the platform, they decided to test and compare it with TabFormer, a system for the same purpose developed by IBM and for which it publicly published a synthetic data set for its testing. The initial test showed that the Airt model surpasses IBM's (F1-score 0.90 vs. 0.86). However, although the accuracy of the model prediction is important, they emphasise that it isn't the most important item for them.

''We believe we can do better than this result in terms of accuracy, but our primary focus isn't on making the most accurate and precise model, but on reducing the resources needed to build one such model automatically. The greatest successes of deep learning techniques have been achieved in the fields of image and text processing, and to make only one such top model requires thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars for the electricity used to make them,'' said Davor Runje.

He added that for such applications, it isn't a big problem because one model is enough for each language, however, when it comes to (many) models used in business, it is clear that there are few companies that could afford something like that.

''Our goal is to achieve almost identical results as these expensive models, but for much less money in order to make our solution available to everyone, from the smallest web shop to the largest financial institutions,'' said Runje.

With this approach, the Croatian startup airt has entered the "deep tech" domain, because the solution they're developing is based on significant scientific and engineering challenges.

''We're intensively engaged in research in and developing our own approaches and techniques. It was with the wholehearted help of Mladen Vukmir and William Zupancic from Vukmir & Associates that we submitted our first patent, which first goes to the EPO (European Patent Office), and then to the USA, for our own deep learning techniques on structured data. This is just the beginning because we aren't going to stop innovating,'' said Heidi Chenan.

The co-founders of "airt'' will also say that with this approach and innovation they are trying to improve the side of deep learning that isn't talked about too much yet, and that is the impact on the environment.

They say modern AI models consume an extremely large amount of energy. The computing resources needed to create the best models are increasing exponentially, doubling every 3.4 months, that is, in other words, in the period from 2012 to 2018, they increased as much as 300 thousand times.

''We're aware of the trace that deep learning leaves on ecology and how, if this trend continues, this technology can become an opponent in the fight against climate change. Therefore, we're working intensively to ensure that our system, in addition to scaling to the amount and speed, uses as little computer resources and energy as possible to process these large amounts of data,'' explained Cenan.

It's worth adding that digital transformation is one of the European Union's top priorities.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Friday, 16 July 2021

Split Company GetByBus Becomes Part of Israeli Bookaway Group

July the 16th, 2021 - The Split company GetByBus has made a new business move and will become part of the wider Israeli Bookaway Group.

As Novac/Ljubica Vuko writes, the Split company GetByBus sold its very first online bus ticket back in late March 2014, it was the only ticket sold that day. By the end of 2014, they had sold a total of about 25,000 tickets. The number of tickets sold grew from year to year, the number of bus carriers and countries where their services were available increased. Now they've reached an important milestone which means new growth and employment in becoming part of the Israeli Bookaway Group. The acquisition was recently completed.

''It's important for us that our brand GetByBus, which is recognised on the market, remains as it is, but that we also continue to develop using the resources of the Bookaway Group, its financial and logistical support. In all this, it's important to hire young people who have the opportunity to work and live in Split and provide services to customers around the world,'' say the leading people of this company.

The Split company GetByBus was founded by Dane Morten Smalby, who has been living in Dalmatia with his family for seventeen years. Initially, it was a website where information on bus routes in Croatia could be found, until the demand for online reservations spurred the success of the platform.

The co-founders of GetByBus are also Vivian Luksic, Tereza Kulic and Ante Dagelic. Each of them has a role to play in a business through which they allow passengers to purchase online tickets on tens of thousands of bus lines to get from point A to point B across more than 50 countries. They're the strongest here on the Croatian market and in the Balkans, and are present in many European countries and even elsewhere in the world.

''Our focus is always on our passengers, our goal is to make their trip as easy as possible,'' says Ante Dagelic while Tereza Kulic remembers the very beginnings when bus companies had to be offered a new digital service, and at that time most worked manually and only a few had their own internet sales channels. Today, the story is completely different.

''The ratings left by passengers are also important to us and to the carriers, and only those who really rode can give a review,'' Vivian Luksic points out.

After Bookaway first took over the Split company GetByBus, and then 12Go, a local transport company from Southeast Asia, the group wants to achieve an ambitious goal - together they want to become the Booking.com of the travel industry.

''Currently, 95 percent of the land transport industry is offline, meaning travellers are wasting valuable time and money trying to manage their travel by booking flights and hotels online. The Bookaway Group wants to make traveling by train, ferry or bus an effortless experience. The finding, comparing and booking of the tickets is all done online, and customers receive support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,'' said Noam Toister, the founder and director of Bookaway on the occasion of the acquisition of GetByBus.

Toister founded Bookaway back in 2017 as a startup with two friends and business partners, they are David Yitzhaki and Omer Chehmer. In the meantime, they grew with the support of investors, and now with acquisitions. The Split company GetByBus will now work through Bookaway to accomplish this group’s mission, which means they want to modernise this 157 billion US dollar industry by uniting the world’s leading carriers and local suppliers with technology and resources that ultimately improve the entire travel industry.

''Changing this market wasn't at all easy. We've been building trust with suppliers for years, proving the benefits of doing digital business. The result of all that is the organic growth of the platform. Thanks to the partnership within the Bookaway Group, we're looking forward to sharing our resources and skills to further expand our customer base and gain more opportunities in regions such as Asia, the US and South America,'' said Morten Smalby.

He is especially happy now there is an additional opportunity to create new jobs in Split. They currently have 25 employees and want to hire a dozen more people in a variety of jobs, from web developers to marketing and sales. GetByBus has helped the digital transformation of bus carriers with its business, and is still working on it, now within the Bookaway Group.

Digital transformation is one of the European Union's top priorities, as stated on the European Parliament's portal, digital platforms affect various sectors from transport to energy, agri-food, telecommunications, financial services, manufacturing and healthcare and change people's lives. Technologies can help optimise production, reduce emissions and waste, strengthen companies' competitive advantages, and provide new services and products to consumers.

In addition to digitisation in action, the GetByBus example highlights the importance of the green transition, another of the EU's top priorities.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Croatian TheGepek Platform Allows Anyone to Become "Deliveryman on the Way"

July the 14th, 2021 - The Croatian TheGepek platform (TheBoot/Trunk) allows quite literally anyone to become a ''deliveryman on the way'', and the coronavirus pandemic is the one ''to thank'' for its creation.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, over recent years, Croatia has experienced the expansion of various courier services, and the coronavirus crisis has raised this micrologistics to an even higher level. Today, delivery is organised within deadlines that are measured in hours or even minutes. Their added value came to light during the height of the pandemic when many people weren't leaving their homes and still needed to send and receive items, whether they be store supplies, food or even medicine.

However, the main disadvantage of these services is that they are mainly related to large cities, and the rest of Croatia, especially smaller settlements and villages, are left in the hands of Croatian Post and large suppliers whose delivery deadlines are often measured in days as opposed to mere minutes.

Noticing this issue, the Croatian TheGepek platform was launched last year, based on the principle that almost anyone can be a delivery person who can accept or deliver a package to a location they're already travelling to, for which they will, of course, receive a fee.

TheGepek, started by a brother and sister, Dario and Carla Ferreri, and subsequently joined by entrepreneur Kristijan Skarica who specialises in the development of startups, has entered into cooperation with the Croatian IT champion, Vodnjan's remarkable Infobip.

As Carla Ferreri explains, she sees joining the InfoBip Startup Tribe programme as the beginning of a fruitful and long-lasting collaboration for both participants.

“We're a small company which is only just developing its business, but we're growing and currently have about 2,000 customers. It's known what Infobip represents in Croatia and the world today, and our attachment to them through the Startup Tribe is a great thing in itself. Infobip announced competition for startups that they'd like to help, so we applied and soon they told us that we'd entered the programme and asked what we needed and wanted so that they could help us as much as possible. As they develop communication technology that is very important to us for expanding our delivery business, we've agreed that they make several of our programmes and tools available to us, free of charge,'' says Carla Ferreri.

She added that Infobip, through the Startup Tribe programme, has provided them with its own network of partners, investors and all other contacts, and therefore they expect that this will greatly help them in developing their business.

"Of course, this is a win-win situation, because with the growth and internationalisation of the business, we'll have the need to increase our use of Infobip's tools, so in this way we're developing rapidly, and Infobip is creating new customers and markets," noted Carla Ferreri.

The Croatian TheGepek platform was created back during the very height of the coronavirus pandemic last year when little was known, chaos reigned and all the shortcomings of the existing courier services came racing to the forefront.

"We came up with the idea one afternoon when it was necessary to deliver a package, some medicine, from Zagreb to the vicinity of Zadar quite urgently. The delivery deadline option we were given, from the post office to the distribution houses, was on average four days because there was a weekend ahead of us, that was just unacceptable to us. We solved our problem that day according to the principle of calling a friend, and the very next day the idea of ​​developing TheGepek was born,'' explained Carla Ferreri.

The Croatian TheGepek platform is based on the sharing economy, the so-called a carpooling cost-sharing model with the possibility of package sending flexibility that the current package distribution market doesn't yet offer. As it is based on a large number of non-professional vendors, the platform also has security options specific to similar systems and rating systems. TheGepek plans to include virtual currencies in its business in the coming period, but more will be known at the end of the month.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Monday, 12 July 2021

Croatian Koncar Succeeds in Asia with Job Contract in Japan

July the 12th, 2021 - The Croatian Koncar company, which is very well known on a global scale for its expertise and high quality work, has succeeded on the Asian market as Japanese jobs are contracted.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the Croatian Koncar - Generators and Engines (GIM), owned by its parent company Koncar - Elektroindustrija, made a very significant step forward onto the challenging Asian market back in mid-May.

Following two entire years of continuous bidding and a tough negotiation process, the Croatian Koncar company earned a large contract over in Japan for the first time in its history. In this regard, the company, one of the components of the Koncar Group, pointed out that the delivery of the signed contract includes "the design, production and supervision during the installation of three generators for two different small hydropower plants."

The first phase of the project will be completed with the successful commissioning of a 5.2 MVA synchronous generator (240 min-1) at Shin Sakagami SHPP, they explained, while the second stage will be completed when the 5.2 MVA (240 min-1) synchronous generator is put into operation, followed by an asynchronous generator with a nominal power of 0.546 MW (366 min-1) at SHE Utsubo.

This is a contract that is a continuation of the Croatian Koncar company's highly successful cooperation with an Austrian turbine manufacturer, and over the next three years the two companies should justify the trust placed in them by Japanese consultants with their work. However, given the fact that this is the first time that Japanese investors have chosen a turbine manufacturer based in Europe, Koncar GIM will not only work hard to introduce itself, but is also expected to be a pioneer in opening the market to other European manufacturers.

This market is widely known for being very demanding, and the company got involved in a challenging project precisely due to typically demanding Japanese consultants and sky high expectations. The Austrian partner and the customer have recognised the competencies and capabilities of the Croatian Koncar, which are harder and harder to find, and decided they were by far the best choice for this kind of solution.

It also turns out that Japan is one of the markets in this segment that puts quality, technical solution and good communication in the first place, above all else. After the first contract on the Japanese market, Koncar could expect many other similar projects in the future, as well as more in various other areas of business. It's worth noting that the share of exports in total revenues from the sales of Koncar Group products and services with references to 130 world markets in the first quarter of this year reached 67 percent, and the most significant exports were realized in Germany, Sweden, the UAE and Austria.

Two thirds of the the Croatian Koncar company's total exports go to the EU market, which again speaks of the quality of their products and the solutions that they successfully offer in this also very demanding market. Koncar GIM has 375 hydropower plants built and revitalised across the world - individual products are adapted to customer requirements and form a niche market for the company's business, and 700 generators are produced and revitalised. Their business results are based on their own product development and production, cooperation with other companies operating under the wider Koncar umbrella, as well as numerous scientific institutions.

For more, follow our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 3 July 2021

Vaccination Prerequisite for Croatian Economic Aid to Companies?

July the 3rd, 2021 - Vaccination against the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, although not mandatory, might well be required before companies can receive Croatian economic aid if it can be implemented constitutionally.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic stated that he thinks it would be fair that in a time of crisis, when the state provides vaccines and salaries for the normal functioning of the entire system, for everyone to make some form of small contribution to the effort.

"If someone is going to be a beneficiary of the Croatian economic aid, let's say job preservation support, then it would be good for them to be vaccinated,'' said the Prime Minister, but without adding further details on just how government economic support will be linked to vaccination.

The ministers of labour and health, Josip Aladrovic and Vili Beros, have now been tasked with specifying measures to be taken by the Croatian Employment Service to link the two processes.

For the moment, this is just an idea announced by the Croatian Government, it's possible that it will be legally and constitutionally difficult to implement, and for now it looks like pressure to workers in those sectors which had to be closed during lockdown, to get vaccinated. However, the Prime Minister said recently that a solution would be sought that would be legal and constitutional, Jutarnji list writes.

"We can't have unlimited government economic measures because the whole of Europe is moving in the direction of job creation, but there are still sectors, such as the catering and hospitality sector, which has partial restrictions, and those that have no restrictions, but are affected because they're objectively disabled, such as transport, tourism, the event industry. Our task now is to engage in dialogue with employers and move on to tailored sectoral measures. So, it isn't just going to be towards everyone as it was before,'' the Prime Minister explained after a recently held Government session.

Until the end of the year, the measure of reduced working hours is set to remain in force. Plenkovic noted that in agreement with the representatives of employers, trends will be monitored and responded to in time if necessary, which will keep pace with active employment policy measures, and in which more than a billion kuna will be invested this year.

Recently, the government also adopted a support programme for vulnerable activities in the sectors of transport, tourism, culture and the event industry. It is actually a reimbursement of fixed costs that these activities didn't have before because they weren't formally closed by the decision of the National Civil Protection Directorate, but suffered heavy losses regardless.

The grants are worth a total of 150 million kuna, and the amount is provided by the budget revision. Those who have recorded a drop in revenue of at least 75 percent compared to 2019 will be able to apply for this form government economic support. In the transport sector, fixed costs will be reimbursed to companies for land and sea passenger transport, as well as to travel agencies and tour operators related to nautical transport. In the tourism sector, the support refers to travel agencies, up to a maximum of 10,000 kuna per worker.

In the event industry sector, companies that organise festivals, concerts and similar cultural and artistic events, as well as events intended for professionals in the field of cultural and creative industries, are eligible, Jutarnji list has learned.

For more, follow our business section.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Clutch Lists Zagreb Company Ingemark Among 100 Fastest Growing

June the 16th, 2021 - When it comes to innovative Croatian companies being noticed on a global scale, the list is only continuing to grow and provide a spring in the step of certain sectors in the country. Clutch has recently listed the Zagreb company Ingemark among the 100 fastest growing.

As Novac writes, with more and more of the population being vaccinated against the novel coronavirus and the gradual relaxation of anti-epidemic measures, the economy also appears to be waking up, finally. According to the latest Eurostat data, Croatia's GDP in the first quarter of 2021 grew by 5.8 percent when compared to the previous quarter.

Last year, the year dominated by an unprecedented global public health crisis, was extremely challenging and impossible to predict for the entire economy, but only positive news came from the blossoming Croatian IT sector. The Zagreb company Ingemark, which deals with the development of custom software, has been listed by Clutch among the top 100 fastest growing.

Clutch, one of the world’s leading global B2B rating and review companies, highlights one hundred of the world’s fastest growing companies each year, as well as the top 100 companies with sustainable growth based on financial data. The Zagreb company Ingemark, which ended last year with impressive revenues of 14.3 million kuna, which is 6.4 million kuna more than back in pre-pandemic 2019, has rightfully been included. Viktor Matic, the director of Ingemark, was also more than satisfied with another success.

''We're flattered to have been placed on the list of the 100 fastest growing companies in the world. That means our engineers are doing a great job and I’m proud of that. The moves we've made over the past couple of years have focused on the development of Ingemark, organisational changes and a much more careful evaluation of projects before we take them over. We've completely changed our organisation and we're constantly evolving, so this inclusion in the top 100 companies is, in a way, a confirmation that we are on the right track, which I'm extremely proud of,'' stated Matic.

The companies on this list are mainly headquartered in the US, Australia and India. A smaller number, about 10 percent of the list, are companies with more than 1,000 employees, and most of them, more than 50 percent, are companies with less than 50 employees, including the Zagreb company Ingemark, which currently has 40 employees, but plans to increase that number.

''The indicative target is to reach 70 employees by the end of 2022. I think it's hard to plan for a longer period than that. With this intense growth in the number of employees, it is important to set up processes that will ensure that all employees know at all times what is expected of them and what they can expect from their colleagues. In that sense, defining the process is certainly one of our priorities, and as part of that, we recently certified the company according to ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 standards,'' said Matic.

For 2021, Clutch’s ranking of the 100 fastest-growing companies is based on their absolute revenue growth rate from 2019 to 2020, while the top 100 companies with sustainable growth are based on their absolute revenue growth rate from 2017 to 2020. With excellent business and an increase in employees, the Zagreb company Ingemark expects revenue growth of up to 25 million kuna by the end of this year.

Judging by the statement of Tajana Barancic, the longtime president of CISEx, who said back in February that the IT sector will grow by at least 10 percent this year, and its exports by 20 percent, more positive news from the Croatian IT sector is to be expected by the end of the year.

For more, follow our dedicated business section.

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